Sunday, April 24, 2005

Locusts of Capitalism Flailed

Franz Müntefering, the Marxist chairman of Germany's ruling SPD party (see Blitzkrieg on Capitalism), appears on a TV chatshow.

The blog watches it in great hopes of seeing the unpleasant fellow humiliated by having his nose rubbed in his own words. But this is not to be.

Instead, the audience is happy to applaud Chairman Muntefering's dated references to the evils of international capitalism and its "locusts", the powerlessness of mere national governments, and all the rest of it. With a smirk, he says that it was high time to start a debate on this matter. He is enthusiastically applauded.

The capitalist spokesman, a Christian businessman, is patronised by the feminist, who tells him he isn't the target of Chairman Müntefering's attacks. When the businessman protests that, actually, he is, she smiles at him dismissively, as one might at a tiresome child.

Even the Cardinal-Archbishop of Berlin, a jowly, self-satisfied looking man, cannot bring himself to censure the important politician's grandstanding and scapegoating.

The opposition man, Rüttgers of the CDU, wants to be the next Prime Minister of Nordrhein-Westphalen (the elections are on May 22nd). He doesn't perform like a politician eager for votes and speaks rather quietly, as if armed with a foreknowledge of doom. Understandably, he finds it hard to secure the audience's applause.

Rüttgers was the victim of a non-story last week when he told the interviewer Michel Friedman that he considered Catholicism superior to other religions. This was supposed to have upset people and indeed a Muslim was found to claim that he had been upset. Rüttgers seems a listless candidate, not best suited to the media age, and he did not come out of his TV confrontation with Chairman Müntefering particularly well.

The bottom line (as we capitalists love to say) is that Chairman Müntefering has been allowed to get away scot free with his preposterous claim that capitalism, and not his government, carries the can for Germany's 5.2 million unemployed. The sclerotic, overregulated state of the German market, has nothing to do with it - in fact, says Müntefering, there should be more state regulation, not less.

The next set of polling results may show us if the German voters will still swallow such guff.

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